Marine proposal is now shot down

AN alliance of 31 environment groups has welcomed a State Government decision to withdraw support for the Shooters Party's proposal for a five-year moratorium on new marine parks and sanctuaries in NSW.

Nature Conservation Council of NSW CEO Pepe Clark said the government's decision provides strong hope for the better protection of precious marine life and habitats through a world-class network of marine protected areas off the State's coast.

“The rejection of the Shooters Party's bill upholds the NSW government's legacy on marine parks and could help chart a course for improving the long-term sustainability and productivity of our coastal fisheries,” Mr Clark said.

“Our marine life and ecosystems are under pressure from overfishing, pollution, climate change and many other human activities. A comprehensive network of marine parks and their sanctuary zones is the most effective way of protecting our oceans and the marine life that call them home, including rare and threatened species.”

The executive director of the National Parks Association, Kevin Evans, has also welcomed the decision.

“Marine parks help conserve marine life, while allowing the community to continue enjoying their much-loved beaches and harbours,” Mr Evans said.

“We can now look forward to re-engaging in constructive dialogue with industry, government and other stakeholders to secure the sustainable future of both our unique marine biodiversity and coastal communities.”

The director of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Darren Kindleysides, said the government's refusal to limit marine parks builds on the growing global recognition of the value of marine protected areas.

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